Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Laster Leads Cats Past Huskies

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In their first conference home game of the season, the Ohio Bobcats (8-6, 1-1) recorded their first conference win of the year as they took down the Northern Illinois Huskies (8-7, 1-1) 78-68.

Both the Bobcats and the Huskies started the game off cold from the field, but over time, the Bobcat offense would heat up enough to propel them to the win.

The man responsible for the Bobcats solid offensive performance tonight was yet again, Mike Laster. Laster was the leading scorer for the Bobcats and tonight he showed the full arsenal of his game. Laster totaled 31 points on the night and was 10-12 from the field and an impressive 5-6 from the beyond the arc. Not only did he have 31 points, but he also chipped in four boards and two assists.

Going into this season, many thought that the Bobcat players to watch would be Jordan Dartis and Jason Carter, but that has not been the case. Year by year progression has led to Laster becoming the star player for the Bobcats.

Another Bobcat, Gavin Block, continues to play well, though he is likely won’t show up in the box score until the second half. Block has been the glue guy for the Bobcats all year long and today was no different. He was all over the floor, diving for loose balls and drawing charges. He made the right pass that led to a bucket after multiple turnovers. He tipped balls on the offensive glass that led to offensive rebounds. Without Block’s effort tonight, this game could’ve gone the opposite way for the Bobcats. He ended the game with nine points, two boards and three assists.

Even though the Bobcats shot well, shooting 57 percent from the field and 45 percent from beyond the arc, they really struggled taking care of the ball. Going into the second half, the Bobcats led 36-22, but in the first 3:32 of the half, the Bobcats turned the ball over six times, allowing Northern Illinois to get right back into the game. The Huskies cut it to as close as six points in the second half due to 17 turnovers by the Bobcats.

In the end, the defense was able to seal the deal for Ohio. They rarely gave up an open shot, which made it very hard for Northern Illinois to score. In the first half, the Huskies shot only 29 percent from the field.

Other players to step up for the Cats tonight was freshman point guard Teyvion Kirk who had 16 points and Jordan Dartis who added eight points.

Ohio’s third conference game of the season, they host Ball State on Tuesday night at the Convocation Center. The Huskies will stay on the road and head to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons.